I am often asked by people if they think they have to get a new computer or can their new one last a bit longer? This is often more of a personal choice unless the old computer is dead or near death. Personally I believe that technology should work for you, and that you should not have to wait on your computer any more than absolutely neccessary. However, just running out and buying a new computer can be a somewhat daunting task – what kind of computer? how much memory? how big of a hard drive?, what kind of graphics? All of these answers will of course depend on your own needs, but there are certainly things you can do to narrow down the choices.
Before you decide to take the plunge, you should look at whether your old computer just needs a good computer service and repair. Sometimes, cleaning out the operating system, or reinstalling Windows can revitalize a lagging system, at other time you may be able to add some RAM memory to increase the capabilities and give your computer a bit longer lifespan. Often, people have accumulated many unneeded programs on their computers which may be slowing it down. In addition, spyware, malware, and adware can be hampering your system. Either of these problems can normally be fixed fairly easily with a bit of time and patience.
You might also be holding on to an old Windows XP machine because you are comfortable with it – while XP was a great a pretty stable operating system, it is going on 11 year old now and is just not capable of keeping up with today’s technology on many levels. If you are still using XP, it is definitley time to plan the upgrade – most XP machines (if they were made for XP) will not easily run a later version of Windows due to lack of hardware drivers, so attempting to upgrade these systems is generally not advised.
Windows 8 is due out later this year, and if Microsoft and the manufacturers run the upgrade process as the have in the past, sometimes the best thing to do is wait until they (hopefully) announce the free upgrade of Windows 7 systems bought after a certain date, and then scoop up one of the Windows 7 systems that comes with a free upgrade to Windows 8 (hopefully at a discount as manufacturers often want to clear their inventory before a new version of Windows arrives). Of course if you want the latest and greatest in hardware, waiting until the first (or second) wave of Windows 8 systems might be a good idea.
Windows 8 is going to bring a lot of changes, and some people may not want to take the initial time to learn something new – for those people, I recommend waiting a bit to see exactely what other people say about upgrading. You can test out Windows 8 by downloading the free consumer preview here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/consumer-preview
Once again, a round of Facebook scams is hitting users. This recent one is a rehash of one that has been done before that entices users by telling them they can install an app to see who has viewed their profile. In the past few days, messages such as “OMG OMG I can’t believe this actually works! Now you can really see who viewed your profile on:” followed by a link that redirects people to ads, malware, or other garbage.
According to security firm Sophos, over sixty thousand people clicked on the link in a period of a few hours. Sophos recently published a blog post that outlines the scam here. For people who are wondering, Facebook has repeatedly said that there is no way to see who has viewed your profile and no way for such a function to be created. Facebook security encourages users to report any such suspicious activity and remove any references to such things from your news feeds. They also suggest making sure that you only grant known applications rights via your Account>Privacy Settings>Applications and Websites settings.
As always, all users should follow internet security guidelines and not click on suspicious links, regardless of their supposed source. Always ensure that you are running up to date antivirus and antispyware/antimalware software, and do regular scans. You can find links to free antivirus and antispyware, antimalware software on our Pensacola Computers Tech Support page. If you do get infected or have a question, contact us at Pensacola Computers